Canadian Broadcasting Centre
Façade of the broadcasting centre
Broadcasting Centre in 2023
Alternative namesToronto Broadcast Centre
General information
TypeBroadcasting centre
Address250 Front Street West
Town or cityToronto, Ontario M5V 3G7
Coordinates43°38′41″N 79°23′17″W / 43.644833°N 79.388194°W / 43.644833; -79.388194
Current tenants
Construction startedApril 1988[1]
OwnerCanadian Broadcasting Corporation
Technical details
Floor count13
Floor area1,720,000 square feet (160,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architect(s)Philip Johnson
Architecture firmJohn Burgee Architects
DeveloperBregman + Hamann Architects
Other designersBarton Myers

The Canadian Broadcasting Centre, also known as the Toronto Broadcast Centre,[2] is an office and studio complex located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It serves as the main broadcast and master control centre for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's English-language television and radio services. It also contains studios for local and regional French-language productions and is the headquarters of the North American Broadcasters Association. Two floors of the facility house the ad agency Bensimon Byrne and its subsidiaries Narrative and OneMethod.[3]

The analogous facility for the CBC's French language services is Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal, while corporate headquarters are located at the CBC Ottawa Production Centre.

The Canadian Broadcasting Centre is at 250 Front Street West in downtown Toronto, with additional entrances at 205 Wellington Street West and 25 John Street, directly across from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It is within walking distance of Union Station, the Rogers Centre, and the CN Tower and connected to the city's PATH underground walkway network.


72 Carlton Street, one of 26 CBC Toronto pre-consolidation locations

The 13-storey broadcast complex is partly located on the site of the First Ontario Parliament Buildings (or the Third Parliament Building of Upper Canada), which stood on the block bounded by Wellington, John, Front, and Simcoe streets between 1832 and 1903. Constructed at a cost of CA$350 million (excluding technology renewal), the Canadian Broadcasting Centre complex entered service in 1993. Previously, the CBC's Toronto operations had been based at a smaller facility on Jarvis Street, near the former television transmitter.

Its architectural, structural, and infrastructural design features eventually incorporated, among others, the emergent concepts and information technologies underlying Digital HDTV, Digital Radio Broadcast, IT platform as a "Global Information Server and MultiMedia Cloud" integrated with the Internet. The project's leading aim was much-needed integration of large number of CBC employees who were located at 26 separate facilities throughout Toronto[4] and modernization of the CBC corporate automation infrastructure in preparation for the 21st century.[5]

The project required over twelve years of planning with particular emphasis (1988–90) on critical IT strategic planning, digital archives, multimedia, interactive TV, corporate office automation, and high-capacity advanced corporate intranet technology design dependent on physical considerations including fiber-optics and electromagnetic interference from within and nearby sources such as the CN Tower. It took another four years for construction completion, corporate IT platforms, communication backbone, skeletal communication structure erection and S/W applications refurbishment. Without the loss of one minute of airtime, the personnel and the systems migrated to the new facility, which was recognized to be the most advanced of its kind in the world with a minor technology challenge posed only by CNN Center in Atlanta, USA.[5]

Television production is located on the upper floors (with many programs recorded in the three rooftop studios), and radio on the second, third and fourth floors. Some of the larger sound stages are rented out to outside movie, television and commercial productions, such as Global's Canadian versions of Deal or No Deal, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, YTV's Life with Boys, and a multitude of commercials for Ford, Canadian Tire, among others.

The Atrium

The structure sits on 3,000 massive hard-rubber pads to reduce unwanted noise and vibrations. Therefore, all studios are located in the core of the building.[6] The complex also has four 1250-kilowatt Cummins generators to provide power to critical loads during a power failure. The atrium was named for Barbara Frum, a noted Canadian journalist. It is used as the venue for special broadcasts, including federal election coverage and the 2000 Today millennium special, and episodes of Canadian Antiques Roadshow.

The Glenn Gould Studio is one of three radio studios at the Broadcasting Centre.

The building contains three radio studios (including the Glenn Gould Theatre), 19 radio production studios, three television studios, two local television studios, two all-purpose studios, and one national news studio. Local programming for the Toronto stations CBLA-FM (CBC Radio One), CBL-FM (CBC Music), CJBC (Ici Radio-Canada Première), CJBC-FM (Ici Musique), CBLT-DT (CBC Television), and CBLFT-DT (Ici Radio-Canada Télé) are produced in these studios, in addition to national programming for the CBC's television and radio networks.

The former CBC Museum, dedicated to preserving the memories and physical artifacts of the national broadcaster's heritage, was located on the first floor of the building. Exhibits included the original "Tickle Trunk" from Mr. Dressup (Casey's treehouse from the same series is on display in the lobby just outside the entrance to the museum), a portion of the original set used for Friendly Giant, Muppet puppets from Sesame Park, video clips from numerous programs, and original sound and tape equipment. Additional exhibits of memorabilia from CBC's history are also located in other areas on the first floor. The museum closed in 2017 and its collection was transferred to Ingenium, the federal Crown corporation which operates Canada's national science and technology museums.[7]

In 2015, the CBC announced that it was considering selling the building and leasing back parts of it.[8] Due to zoning restrictions, the CBC opted to retain ownership of the building while leasing out parts of it.[9]

The analogous facility for the CBC's French-language networks is Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal. The CBC's corporate headquarters are located in Ottawa in the CBC Ottawa Production Centre.

Security and threats

The so-called Toronto 18 terrorists included the building in their list of targets in a 2006 Ontario terrorism plot.

In 2010, the broadcast centre was inside of the secure zone due to the 2010 G-20 Toronto summit protests and employees were not allowed to leave the building during portions of the rioting when gates into and out of the zone were locked down.

A Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) regional office is located on Front Street West directly across from the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, and helped identify suspicious packages and led to the arrest of a suspect in 2011.[10]

The broadcast centre in downtown Toronto had to be evacuated in November 2015 after someone taking stock of inventory in the archives stumbled upon what looked like a military shell.[11] Police and military bomb technicians were called in and determined the shell was inert.[12]

In 2018, a user on website called on other users to attack the CBC and shoot employees, leading to increased security and Toronto Police Service being called.[13]

Television studios

The roof of the Broadcasting Centre, as seen from the CN Tower. Studio 40 is centre, flanked by studios 41 and 42.

See also


  1. ^ "When CBC was going to finally live under one roof in Toronto". April 8, 1988. Retrieved April 24, 2024.
  2. ^ "Toronto Broadcast Centre". CBC Production Facilities. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "Inside a trio of super-swanky agencies (complete with a basketball court) at the CBC broadcast centre". Toronto Life. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  4. ^ Archives, CBC (April 8, 2020). "When CBC was going to finally live under one roof in Toronto". CBC. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Mehmet T. Sindel, BC Intranet Chief Architect and Project Manager, 1988–90[full citation needed]
  6. ^ "CBC Broadcast Centre – Project Case Study". HGC Engineering. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  7. ^ Micallef, Shawn (December 22, 2017). "Farewell to the CBC museum, a faded gem that will be missed | Toronto Star". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  8. ^ Levinson King, Robin (February 20, 2015). "CBC looks to sell downtown Toronto HQ". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  9. ^ Ladurantaye, Steve (June 8, 2012). "Allied Properties REIT to lease part of CBC building". The Globe and Mail.
  10. ^ "Arrest made after scare outside CSIS offices". CTV News. January 11, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  11. ^ Shah, Maryam (November 6, 2014). "CBC evacuated after bomb scare". Toronto Sun.
  12. ^ Hallett, Roger (November 6, 2015). "CBC building evacuated after donation of military artifact". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. The Canadian Press.
  13. ^ "CBC Increasing Security At Toronto HQ Following "Incel" Threat". April 28, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "CBC Production Facilities – Toronto Broadcast Centre – Studio 40". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  15. ^ "Sportsnet launches IP-based facility, new studios". NewscastStudio. October 13, 2021. Retrieved April 24, 2024.

43°38′41″N 79°23′17″W / 43.644833°N 79.388194°W / 43.644833; -79.388194